It has taken us some time since we received The Tangent’s “Going Off On Two DVD to get round to reviewing it. One of the reasons is because it was so favourably reviewed by other excellent sites elsewhere that we could say little else to recommend it highly enough. Falling as we have so in love with Comm album in its different formats, we simply couldn’t ignore such a visual document and share our views too.
The packaging of the DVD and CD is as ever exemplary bringing so beautifully up to date where The Tangent’s previous DVD/CD package left off, a big up once again for Ed Unitsky who once again lends his deft of hand to the artwork. Where “Going Off On Two” differs from its predecessor is that all songs are played in the absence of an audience. Whilst shedding some of the previous contributors The Tangent 2011 acquit themselves very well, indeed, throughout this pleasing Old Grey Whistle Test style performance filmed in sunny Stockport the shear musical talent and musical prowess on display supports fully Sir Elton’s views about the whole X-Factor debacle and its proliferation of karaoke singers and their likes.
As well as old favourites like “A Sale Of Two Souls” and “GPS Culture/The Music That Died Alone”, The DVD majors on songs from the bands “Down And Out In Paris And London” album. However, a song from the then forthcoming “Comm” album is included with a blinding rendition of “The Minds eye”. The event could be described as intimate and forthright with Andy Tillison’s by now Manfred Mann style of playing and Rupert Hind vocal exploits leading the latest incarnation of the band into a storming version of “Where Are They Now”. What strikes you from the outset is the amazing guitar of young beau Luke Machin whose youth and vitality injects new life into an already top of the range Prog outfit.
I became totally immersed in the studio session feel about the whole performance and found myself playing a variety of air instruments total enthralled by The Tangent’s virtuosity. Working their way through “Perdu Dans Paris” and “Paroxetine 20mg” the band give a fresh coat of varnish to the afore mentioned Tangent standards before concluding the set with “In Darkest Dreams including After Pheadra”. Complete with some colourful psychedelic visuals this particular piece showcases both musical and technical skill of Mr Tillison laying bare his passion for electronic composition as well as progs more demanding time signatures and speed playing.
The Tangent for this particular event comprise Andy Tillison (Keyboards) Luke Machin (Guitars) Jonathan Barrett (Bass) Theo Travis (Flutes & saxophone) and Tony Latham (Drums) With only a few coloured lights and minimal production interference this really is a warts and all testament that The tangent are at the top of their game. Watching Tony Latham in what appears to be pair of PJ bottoms assault’s his drums with authority is a joy, he never seems fully taxed by the complexity of the music yet beats out a storm.
So as not to miss what other members of the band are doing at such close quarters, some useful split screen sequences allow you to view the complete band at a glance in their own setting. The extras included on the DVD are a techie’s dream. The band interviews each other to discuss their chosen weapons, sundries and techniques whilst sharing their views to the camera about many different subjects. Andy Tillison’s views were particularly enlightening and I found the DVD extras give insight to the band in their present form.
As I write, The Tangent have just returned from a mini tour of Russia. Further proof that since releasing Comm the boys are now in a position to conquer new continents, growing a larger fan base and raising the bar for their peers. Until you can catch the band in concert I would suggest you give yourself a taster of just what you’re in for by purchasing a copy of “Going Off On Two”. The DVD comes with a CD of the performance for those of us who enjoy listening in the car or via other media. It too is rather good. For any prog fan this is a must, for all Tangent fans it is essential.
Available at all good outlets £12.99 inc P+P